Some say write what you know. Others say write what you are interested in and go out and know it. Last week I visited Archives Canada to do some family history research (that also serves as the inspiration for my next big writing project about Leilah).
My approach to research is like my approach to writing: go to where the energy burns brightest. I did not have a plan. I had a thick file holding three years of research notes, an iPad, and some blank paper. Generally, I wanted to know more about the Metis, the Voyageurs, lighthouses, and my family.
When we arrived at Archives Canada we had to sign-up for a Library Card. This process was easy–some photo ID, a computerized form, and a signature. Once our cards were ready we signed in at the security desk and received a key for a locker. It is helpful to read all the information on the Archives Canada website, Preparing for a Visit. Continue reading
Since the Oscars in February the video about the Bechdel Test has been passed around on Facebook, Twitter, and via email. A couple days ago I told a friend of mine about the test. He teaches film but does not have Facebook. Since then the Bechdel Test has been on my mind.
To pass the Bechdel Test a story needs to have at least two female characters with names who talk to each other about something other than a man. Continue reading
About four years ago my friend Nicole introduced me to Ancestry.ca. We sat in her home office in front of the computer. We squinted at a marriage certificate on the screen. She showed me how you could search for records,… Continue reading